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Slow Braised Italian Meatballs

Slow Braised Italian Meatballs

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The secret to a deliciously moist as well as flavorful meatball is a slow braise in a low heat oven.  This recipe for Slow Braised Italian Meatballs is a favorite around here as it is easy enough to make during a busy week as well it tucks away nicely in the freezer for those lazy last minute meals.  Slowly braising the meatballs along with wine and stock creates a rich and flavorful sauce that would even make Noona smile.

Slow Braised Italian Meatballs

Did you have a great Christmas?  We spent a few days before Christmas with my family, with our big celebration on Christmas Eve.  It was really nice to see everyone, and spend a little time together.  Much too short of a visit but always appreciated the time we have.  

My family lives in Northern Nevada, and we were blessed with a very white Christmas this year.  While it is always fun to have a little snow to play around in, we spent Christmas day, in grueling traffic heading home.  Lots of snow.  Lots of cars.  When we started planning our holiday travels, I had a feeling this would happen, and the last thing I wanted was to get home on Christmas Day with nothing special to eat.  I planned ahead with this recipe.  

I have been on a huge meatball kick all year, and this recipe is in the top 5.  The meatballs are made with a mixture of veal and beef, and is heavily seasoned with fresh herbs such as oregano and marjoram.  After browning the meatballs, I place them in the oven with some red wine and beef stock and let them braise.  The sauce thickens and becomes very rich and savory.  And the meatballs are fork tender.  Perfect meal for a chilly night in with a loved one!

I made these meatballs a couple weeks ago and put them into the freezer for our special coming home Christmas dinner.  Before freezing the meatballs, I lightly browned them to cut back on some of the cooking time.  Before making for dinner I let them thaw out and then proceeded with the recipe.  Turned out perfectly.  

Yield: 6 servings

Slow Braised Italian Meatballs

Slow Braised Italian Meatballs

After lightly cooking the meatballs on the stovetop they are slowly simmered in the oven with a rich tomato and wine based sauce for 90 minutes creating a rich and flavorful meatful.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes


  • 1/2 pounds ground veal
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh oregano, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh marjoram, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine, used a heavy cabernet
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste


Preheat oven to 300.

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients, except the canola oil, stock, wine and tomato paste. Mix well with your hands.

Shape into small meatballs (approx. 24)

In a large dutch oven heat the canola oil over medium heat.

Add the meatballs in batches and cook until lightly golden brown; approximately 3 - 5 minutes.

Remove from the oil and set on a paper towel.

Continue browning the meatballs, putting on a paper towel once finished

Lower the heat to simmer.

Add the tomato paste to the dutch oven.

Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add the stock and red wine.

Bring to a boil, stirring often.

Add the meatballs to the sauce.

Place in the oven.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Checking every so often and adding any stock if needed.

Remove from the oven.

Place the meatballs in a serving bowl.

Reheat the sauce on the stovetop until thickened. This should not take more then 10 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs.



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Kelly Senyei (Just a Taste)

Thursday 3rd of January 2013

These look so tender and tasty! Just came across your blog and I'm so happy to have found it. Looking forward to exploring many more of your culinary adventures!


Friday 28th of December 2012

Great recipe. Looks simple

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